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Kamala Harris will lead Biden administration’s efforts on voting rights, President says

President Joe Biden announced Vice President Kamala Harris will lead his administration’s efforts on voting rights in a speech Tuesday on the Tulsa Race Massacre in Oklahoma.

The new role comes as the Biden administration condemns efforts by Republican-led state legislatures to pass restrictive laws the White House says makes it harder for Americans to vote.

“President Joe Biden asked me to help lead our Administration’s effort to protect the fundamental right to vote for all Americans. In the days and weeks ahead, I will engage the American people, and I will work with voting rights organizations, community organizations, and the private sector to help strengthen and uplift efforts on voting rights nationwide,” Harris said in a statement first released to CNN. “And we will also work with members of Congress to help advance these bills.”

“The work ahead of us is to make voting accessible to all American voters, and to make sure every vote is counted through a free, fair, and transparent process. This is the work of democracy,” Harris added.

Earlier Tuesday, deputy White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One the latest state bill, Senate Bill 7, passed by Texas Republicans, “part of a concerted attack on our democracy being advanced in state houses across the country on the basis of the same repeatedly disproven lies that led to the assault on our nation’s Capitol on January 6.” Texas Democrats derailed the restrictive voting bill, but are warning of the continued threat of the legislation that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, has promised to bring back during a planned special session.

In a statement released Saturday, Biden criticized the bill as an “assault on democracy” and “wrong and un-American.” In her own statement on Twitter, Harris used similar language, adding: “We need to make it easier for eligible voters to vote. Not harder.”

Both the President and vice president have been vocal about voting rights, calling for Congress to pass HR 1, called the For the People Act, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

In May, Harris held a meeting with voting and civil rights leaders to discuss “the critical importance of protecting the right to vote,” per a statement released at the time.

This becomes the latest task of Harris’ expanding portfolio. In March, Biden tasked her with leading the diplomatic efforts in the Northern Triangle, to stem the flow of migration across the US- Mexico border. Since then, she’s added leading the administration’s efforts to expand broadband internet, a focus on small business among other issues.

Article Topic Follows: National Politics

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